The development of murine cerebral malaria does not require nitric oxide production

N. FAVRE a1p1, B. RYFFEL a2 and W. RUDIN a1c1
a1 Department of Medical Parasitology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland
a2 Department of Immunology, Medical School, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Nitric oxide (NO) production has been suggested to be required for the development of cerebral malaria. However, the importance of this molecule for the appearance of this pathology is debated. To assess whether murine cerebral malaria is NO dependent, we investigated the course of blood-stage Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infections in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-deficient mice. Parasitaemia, haematological alterations, survival and development of cerebral malaria were not affected by the lack of iNOS. To exclude a role of NO produced by other NOS, controls included NO suppression by oral administration of aminoguanidine (AG), a NOS inhibitor. As in iNOS-deficient mice, no difference in the parasitaemia course, survival and haematological values was observed after AG treatment. Our results indicate that NO production is not a crucial factor for the development of murine cerebral malaria.

(Received May 11 1998)
(Revised July 21 1998)
(Accepted July 21 1998)

Key Words: malaria; nitric oxide; cerebral malaria; Plasmodium berghei; iNOS-deficient mice.

c1 Corresponding author: Department of Medical Parasitology, Swiss Tropical Institute, PO Box, Socinstrasse 57, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. Tel: +061 284 81 11. Fax: +061 271 86 54. E-mail:
p1 Present address: Kanstonsspital Basel, Exp. Nephrologie, Basel, Switzerland.